Read 100+ Books in 2016 discussion

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June's challenge

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message 1: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 73 comments Mod
Wow! June already and it is finally getting warm here. I hope you are all having a good year. Now for June's challenge.

1. Read a book by an author whose surname begins with P.
2. Summer starts with the full moon so read a book about the moon, the sun, or the stars.
3. Flag Day is this month in the U. S. so read a book with a flag on the cover.
4. Read a book that scares you.
5. Read a book set in South America.
6. Read a book that is 500 pages long.
7. Read a satirical book.
8. Read a National Book Award winner.
9. Your choice.


message 2: by Chuck (last edited Jun 02, 2016 04:42AM) (new)

Chuck | 59 comments June is here and finally retiring from my part-time job at our local high school, yahoo! Time to travel, RVing, painting, and of course, reading.

1. Read a book by an author whose surname begins with P.
2. Summer starts with the full moon so read a book about the moon, the sun, or the stars.
3. Flag Day is this month in the U. S. so read a book with a flag on the cover.
4. Read a book that scares you.
5. Read a book set in South America.
6. Read a book that is 500 pages long.
7. Read a satirical book.
8. Read a National Book Award winner.
9. Your choice.

Now for my June challenge:
8. "Give Me Your Heart" by Joyce Carol Oates (National Book Award winner in 1970).


message 3: by Chuck (new)

Chuck | 59 comments Reading "Give Me Your Heart" by Joyce Carol Oates.

"The need for love - obsessive, self-destructive, unpredictable - takes us to forbidden places, as in the chilling world of Give Me Your Heart, a new collection of stories by the inimitable Joyce Carol Oates.

In the suspenseful 'Strip Poker,' a reckless adolescent girl must find a way of turning the tables on a gathering of increasingly threatening young men - Can she 'outplay' them? In the award-winning 'Smother!' a young woman's nightmare memory of childhood brings trouble on her professor-mother - Which of them will 'win' ? In 'Split/Brain' a woman who has blundered into a lethal situation confronts the possibility of saving herself - Will she take it? In 'The First Husband,' a jealous man discovers that his wife seems to have lied about her first marriage, and exacts a cruel revenge, years after the fact. In these and other powerful tales, children veer beyond their parents' control, wives and husbands wake up to find that they hardly know each other, haunted pasts intrude upon uncertain futures, and those who bring us the most harm may be the nearest at hand.

In ten razor-sharp stories, National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates shows that the most deadly mysteries often begin at home."


message 4: by Chuck (new)

Chuck | 59 comments Two camping trips planned for the month of June and I'm stacking books to read!

1. Read a book by an author whose surname begins with P.
2. Summer starts with the full moon so read a book about the moon, the sun, or the stars.
3. Flag Day is this month in the U. S. so read a book with a flag on the cover.
4. Read a book that scares you.
5. Read a book set in South America.
6. Read a book that is 500 pages long.
7. Read a satirical book.
8. Read a National Book Award winner.
9. Your choice.

Now for my June challenge:
4. "The Dragon Factory" by Jonathan Maberry, Book 2 of the Joe Ledger series.
8. "Give Me Your Heart" by Joyce Carol Oates (National Book Award winner in 1970).


message 5: by Chuck (new)

Chuck | 59 comments Just started reading this morning "The Dragon Factory" by Jonathan Maberry, Book 2 of the Joe Ledger series.

"Having protected the world from a zombie plague in PATIENT ZERO, Joe Ledger and his crack Department of Special Sciences combat team are thrown into an even more frightening crisis. A genetic-engineering program has been used to create the ultimate fighting machine - soldiers bred for war, soldiers with greater strength, higher reaction speeds and an utter disregard for pain. Theirs and others. It's a nightmare from the pages of Doctor Moreau and soon Joe and his team are up against both the big business concerns who have billions invested in the project and, on the street, adversaries bred expressly to kill them. It's enough to make you wish you were facing zombies again ..."


message 6: by Rachel (new)

Rachel The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas -Sandra Dallas 6-2-16
This book is hard to describe in terms of genre, but I suppose that it's somewhat of a suspense novel albeit a very tame one. The book is well written and the characters are mostly well drawn even if a few of them are exceedingly dull. It's a fairly good read overall, but I can't give it more than 3 stars because of how disjointed the story felt in some places.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout -Elizabeth Strout 6-5-16
I honestly don't know why this book won a Pulitzer Prize because I couldn't see anything spectacular about it at all. Anyhow, this book is episodic in nature; every chapter tells a particular short story in which Olive Kitteridge is mentioned somehow even when it seems to be completely a cameo appearance such as a brief mention of her having been so-and-so's teacher that said person didn't like. I suppose the glimpses into various characters' lives and/or thoughts are quite thought-provoking at times, but, overall, I just found myself forging through to reach the end.

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1) by Gayle Forman -Gayle Forman 6-5-16
This was an absolutely wonderful book. It was written well and had great character development despite how you get to know the characters through the protagonist's memories and experiences (view spoiler). I loved getting to know Mia and about her relationships with her family, her best friend, and her boyfriend; incidentally, Mia and Adam's romantic relationship is certainly one of the better portrayals of such that I've read, as it felt more real than fake or cliche. This book has definitely earned a place on my favorites' list, and I look forward to reading its sequel.


message 7: by Sheila (last edited Jul 04, 2016 01:56PM) (new)

Sheila | 73 comments Mod
Now my June reads:

3/9 books, 11 books

1. Read a book by an author whose surname begins with P.
2. Summer starts with the full moon so read a book about the moon, the sun, or the stars.
3. Flag Day is this month in the U. S. so read a book with a flag on the cover.
4. Read a book that scares you--The Taming by A. M. Rycroft--finished 6/5/16.
5. Read a book set in South America.
6. Read a book that is 500 pages long--All the Light We Cannot See byt Anthony Doerr--finished 6/15/16.
7. Read a satirical book.
8. Read a National Book Award winner.
9. Your choice--Not Quite Juliet by Katherine Rhodes--finished 6/4/16.

Bonus:
Smart Alex--Sam Cheever--finished 6/15/16
Sharing My Wife by Ava Sterling--finished 6/20/16
On Her Knees by Ava Sterling--finished 6/21/16
The Readaholics and the Poirot Puzzle by Laura DiSilverio--finished 6/20/16
Brighton Belle by Sara Sheridan--finished 6/22/16
Bridget Bound As Bait by J.R. Luxor--finished 6/22/16
Evil Spy School by Stuart Gibbs--finished 6/24/16
Secrets of the Deep by E. G. Foley--finished 6/30/16


message 8: by Rachel (new)

Rachel The Luck of the Buttons by Anne Ylvisaker -Anne Ylvisaker 6-6-16
This was a fun read about a young girl in a small town in Iowa who suddenly becomes quite lucky at small things despite the fact that she is a Button known for clumsiness and ill luck. The book was written pretty well and was entertaining despite the fact that the characters weren't developed too well.

The Sisters by Nancy Jensen -Nancy Jensen 6-7-16
I really liked this book even though a lot of the story was sad. I liked how the author showed how one misunderstanding can create a whole chain of dysfunction affecting multiple generations. The book was well written and the characters were well drawn.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green -John Green 6-8-16
Finally, I found a John Green novel that didn't disappoint me completely. Because I really enjoyed the movie, I was hoping that the book would be better than other books by him that I've read, and, thankfully, that was the case, as I actually liked the characters who felt like real people you might run across and found the book to be well written also. Overall, I was quite pleased with this book.


message 9: by Chuck (new)

Chuck | 59 comments Back from June Camping Trip #1 and ready to go again!
1. Read a book by an author whose surname begins with P.
2. Summer starts with the full moon so read a book about the moon, the sun, or the stars.
3. Flag Day is this month in the U. S. so read a book with a flag on the cover.
4. Read a book that scares you.
5. Read a book set in South America.
6. Read a book that is 500 pages long.
7. Read a satirical book.
8. Read a National Book Award winner.
9. Your choice.

Now for my June challenge:
4. "The Dragon Factory" by Jonathan Maberry, Book 2 of the Joe Ledger series.
8. "Give Me Your Heart" by Joyce Carol Oates (National Book Award winner in 1970).
9. "Dark Places" by Gillian Flynn


message 10: by Chuck (new)

Chuck | 59 comments Reading "Dark Places" by Gillian Flynn.

"Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice" of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer."


message 11: by Chuck (new)

Chuck | 59 comments Both camping trip cancelled - State parks in Santa Barbara County closed to the Sherpa Fire. Only 5% contained, 4000+ acres burned, high winds expected tonight. Temperatures nearing 100 this weekend.

Hope all the firefight will be safe.

1. Read a book by an author whose surname begins with P.
2. Summer starts with the full moon so read a book about the moon, the sun, or the stars.
3. Flag Day is this month in the U. S. so read a book with a flag on the cover.
4. Read a book that scares you.
5. Read a book set in South America.
6. Read a book that is 500 pages long.
7. Read a satirical book.
8. Read a National Book Award winner.
9. Your choice.

Now for my June challenge:
1. "The Dogs of Babel" by Carolyn Parkhurst.
4. "The Dragon Factory" by Jonathan Maberry, Book 2 of the Joe Ledger series.
8. "Give Me Your Heart" by Joyce Carol Oates (National Book Award winner in 1970).


message 12: by Colleen (new)

Colleen Mertens | 21 comments So between the internet at my house being wonky and life, I haven't had time to post much. I have read a lot through May and June though. I read 3 Star Wars books: the book version of the movie "Attack of the Clones". It pretty much stayed true to the movie which was an improvement over the 1st one. I also read 2 Clone Wars novels "Wild Space" which features some of the troopers heading out beyond what is known to the main characters universe. It was interesting and a fun read. I also read "No Prisoners" in which Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex have to rescue a missing spy and meet some different Jedi from the ones she already knows. I liked that one best of the 3 I read. I also read Stasi Eldredge's "Becoming Myself" which deals with letting go of past hurts and deepening your relationship with Christ. I love what the Eldredge's write and thought this was another book to allow some soul searching and growing. I also read "Giants: The Dwarves of Auschwitz". It was a book about a family of dwarves who survived the death camp and helped keep several of their friends alive as well. It dealt with their lives before, during, and after WWII. They had amazing personalities and survived horrors I can't even begin to imagine. The book was excellent. After that I read "H is for Hawk" by Helen MacDonald. The book chronicles how she coped with her father's death by training a goshawk. She wrote so well on such emotional times. The bird training parts fascinated me as well. Another excellent book. Because MacDonald talked so much about T. H. White in her book, I had to read some of his work and I chose "The Once and Future King". It was White's version of the King Arthur legends. I liked them but at times got a little bored with them. He was a little drier with his writing than I expected considering the subject matter. After that, at my daughter's request, I had to start reading the 2nd Warriors Series: The New Prophecy. I read book one "Midnight". It was excellent and immediately pulled me back into that world and moved it along by showing some of the little ones from the 1st series as mature cats. The adventure level in the book is also high. Good fun read for tweens. After that I read, "Unleashing Mr. Darcy", which is a modern day take on "Pride and Prejudice" in the world of dog shows. The characters were similar to their names sakes in Austin's world. Teri Wilson did have a few interesting takes on some of the characters and gave a few of them a chance to react the way some readers would have liked to have seen happen. Overall, it was a fun light read. Just yesterday I finished "Behind Sad Eyes: The Life of George Harrison". He was my favorite Beatle and it was interesting to read about him. Many of the parts of the book I knew from my general knowledge already but it was a good biography. It felt balanced in trying to show the whole person. So my current read is Fannie Flagg's "The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion". I just started so I will let you know how that one goes. Happy Summer.


message 13: by Sheila (new)

Sheila | 73 comments Mod
Seems like a lot of good books have been read. I've been busy with painting and going to Lori Foster's Reader/Author Get Together. Now I'm mom sitting. I should get a lot of reading done in these three weeks but who knows.

I can recommend All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It follows 3 people--a blind French girl, a German boy, and a German officer--during WWII and pertains to the hijacking of art treasures by the Nazis. It is a great book for commuters because the chapters are short. It was an interesting novel especially since I have read The Monument Men which was a non-fiction book on the recovery of the stolen art and jewels.


message 14: by Chuck (new)

Chuck | 59 comments Planning camping trips for the summer and fall already. Time is flying by!

1. Read a book by an author whose surname begins with P.
2. Summer starts with the full moon so read a book about the moon, the sun, or the stars.
3. Flag Day is this month in the U. S. so read a book with a flag on the cover.
4. Read a book that scares you.
5. Read a book set in South America.
6. Read a book that is 500 pages long.
7. Read a satirical book.
8. Read a National Book Award winner.
9. Your choice.

Now for my June challenge:
1. "The Dogs of Babel" by Carolyn Parkhurst.
4. "The Dragon Factory" by Jonathan Maberry, Book 2 of the Joe Ledger series.
8. "Give Me Your Heart" by Joyce Carol Oates (National Book Award winner in 1970).
9. "Stay Awake" by Dan Chaon.


message 15: by Chuck (new)

Chuck | 59 comments Now reading "Stay Awake" by Dan Chaon.

"In these haunting, suspenseful stories, lost, fragile, searching characters wander between ordinary life and a psychological shadowland. They have experienced intense love or loss, grief or loneliness, displacement or disconnection—and find themselves in unexpected, dire, and sometimes unfathomable situations.

A father’s life is upended by his son’s night terrors—and disturbing memories of the first wife and child he abandoned; a foster child receives a call from the past and begins to remember his birth mother, whose actions were unthinkable; a divorced woman experiences her own dark version of “empty-nest syndrome”; a young widower is unnerved by the sudden, inexplicable appearances of messages and notes—on dollar bills, inside a magazine, stapled to the side of a tree; and a college dropout begins to suspect that there’s something off, something sinister, in his late parents’ house.

Dan Chaon’s stories feature scattered families, unfulfilled dreamers, anxious souls. They exist in a twilight realm—in a place by the window late at night when the streets are empty and the world appears to be quiet. But you are up, unable to sleep. So you stay awake."


message 16: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Miracle in a Dry Season (Appalachian Blessings, #1) by Sarah Loudin Thomas -Sarah Loudin Thomas 6-11-16
This was an interesting Christian historical romance novel with some magic thrown in. There were also some elements borrowed from The Scarlet Letter, which made the book a bit more intriguing than it would have been otherwise. The book was written fairly well and had some interesting characters, so I liked it overall.

Plus One by Elizabeth Fama -Elizabeth Fama 6-11-16
This was a reasonably unique and entertaining YA dystopian novel with a focus on family and romance despite obstacles. There was also quite a bit of suspense and intrigue woven into the plot. I really liked this novel; it was well written with great characters.

Funeral Food (Tory Bauer Mystery, #1) by Kathleen Taylor -Kathleen Taylor 6-12-16
This was quite an entertaining cozy mystery with several hilarious characters. That being said, it was written decently for its genre but certainly isn't of a high literary quality. However, I still would like to read more of this series.

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff -David Ebershoff 6-16-16
I didn't like the dual narrative in this book as much as I thought I would, but it is a well written historical novel, and some of the characters are developed well. I found myself dragging through the longer, more detailed sections focused on Ann Eliza Young ("19th" wife of Brigham Young) just longing to get back to the shorter, more action-oriented story about Jordan's quest to help clear his mom in the 1960's. In any case, I really don't like reading about polygamy or other lifestyles I find morally wrong; however, I'm glad I persevered through the book, as I learned quite a bit about the beginnings of the Mormon "church."

Murder is Binding (Booktown Mystery, #1) by Lorna Barrett -Lorna Barrett 6-16-16
This was a fun and well written cozy mystery with great characters. I flew through the book and look forward to reading more of the series.

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult -Jodi Picoult 6-18-16
This is a hard novel to review because there were so many elements I disliked amidst this otherwise very well written and thought-provoking novel. I liked the character development, and I enjoyed the scenes where Zoe's job as a music therapist comes into play. However, the first parts of the book focusing on Zoe's struggles with infertility were very sad, especially since it destroys her marriage. (view spoiler) Overall, I can give it 3 stars because of its literary quality and the fact that I did, in the end, like it even of it did infuriate me from time to time.

15th Affair (Women's Murder Club #15) by James Patterson -James Patterson 6-20-16
Normally, I really love the books in the Women's Murder Club series where every book in the series has a unique murder mystery and further develops the ongoing plot between the main characters; however, this was by far the most disappointing volume in the series. I didn't like where the book ended and how it dealt with Lindsay's marriage. So, considering how I'd been looking forward to getting this book from the library, actually reading it was quite a let down for me. I hope the next book in the series fixes the problems for Lindsay that this book created for her.

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger -William Kent Kreuger 6-21-16
It took me a while to get into this story, but I ended up really enjoying it despite some of the crazy things that get revealed during the course of the plot. This novel is primarily a coming-of-age story built around a few key mysterious deaths. It is well written and has good character development. Overall, I liked it but didn't love it due to some disturbing elements of the plot.


message 17: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Almost forgot one!

A Sheetcake Named Desire (A Piece of Cake Mystery, #1) by Jacklyn Brady -Jacklyn Brady 6-10-16
This was a fairly well written and entertaining cozy mystery with well drawn characters. I enjoyed it.


message 18: by Chuck (new)

Chuck | 59 comments Planning camping trips for the summer and fall already. Time is flying by!

1. Read a book by an author whose surname begins with P.
2. Summer starts with the full moon so read a book about the moon, the sun, or the stars.
3. Flag Day is this month in the U. S. so read a book with a flag on the cover.
4. Read a book that scares you.
5. Read a book set in South America.
6. Read a book that is 500 pages long.
7. Read a satirical book.
8. Read a National Book Award winner.
9. Your choice.

More of my June reading challenge:

1. "The Dogs of Babel" by Carolyn Parkhurst.
1. "The Martini Shot" by George Pelecanos
4. "The Dragon Factory" by Jonathan Maberry, Book 2 of the Joe Ledger series.
8. "Give Me Your Heart" by Joyce Carol Oates (National Book Award winner in 1970).
9. "Stay Awake" by Dan Chaon.


message 19: by Chuck (new)

Chuck | 59 comments Now reading "The Martini Shot" by George Pelecanos.

"George Pelecanos gets inside the minds and hearts of a cast of indelible characters: from the adoptive parents of Spero Lucas trying to expand and redefine their family, to a young boy involved in a drug deal gone bad, to a 1930s immigrant dishwasher facing down a corrupt Pinkerton agent. In the novella, "The Martini Shot," Pelecanos takes readers behind the scenes of a cable TV cop show, where a writer gets caught up in drama more real than anything in a script. Crackling with energy, these stories bring readers to a new understanding of humanity, modern life, and circumstances that stack the deck against people who are just trying to make a decent life for themselves. Gritty, sexy, fast-paced, humane, THE MARTINI SHOT is Pelecanos at his very best.

Whether they're cops or conmen, savage killers or creative types, gangsters or God-fearing citizens, George Pelecanos' characters are always engaged in a fight for their lives. They fight to advance or simply to survive; they fight against odds, against enemies, even against themselves. In this, his first collection of stories, the acclaimed novelist introduces readers to a vivid and eclectic cast of combatants."

George Pelecanos is one of my favorite writers. He has written over 20 novels plus written screenplays for "The Wire" and "Treme."


message 20: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn -Gillian Flynn 6-24-16
This book started out pretty well: the characters were interesting and the plot was intriguing. However, after several chapters, I began to be underwhelmed by this thriller for several reasons: for one thing, the amount of vulgarity, which added nothing to the plot or the development of the characters, was astounding; then, I started to really dislike both main characters for different reasons; and, finally, the end was totally unsatisfying to my sense of poetical justice and left too many unanswered questions.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker -Alice Walker 6-26-16
When I first started reading this book, I was a young, sheltered teenager and couldn't continue reading the book past the point where Celie and Shug become lovers, as I just couldn't stomach it. So, at the age of 30, I finally read the book from beginning to end mainly to say that I have, and I still don't understand what's so good about it. I had a hard time reading the dialect, and I didn't like all the emphasis on sexuality either heterosexual or homosexual. The characters weren't well drawn, and I didn't truly like a single one. However, I did like reading Nettie's accounts of her life as a missionary in Africa, and I'm glad the book had a happy ending after all the grief due to horrible life events that were portrayed in the book.


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